The Applied Research Center, a racial justice group and home for media and activism, conducted a story called “Millennials, Activism and Race” in hopes to better understand the attitudes and motivations of 18 to 30 year olds who are actively engaged in social justice.
According to the center’s press release, results show that the most significant influence for young progressives to engage in social justice work is their own personal and family experience, particularly for young people of color. The activists all agreed communication and cooperation make an ideal society, but primary barriers maintain in the way. These barriers include a dominant ideology based on individualism and a general lack of awareness of histories of oppression with political and economic analysis, which the general public does not have an analytic framework to critique our political and economic system.
Applied Research Center Director Dominique Appollon said Occupy participants described the electoral system as a fraud, corrupt, pointless and a failure. Some still will contribute to the election to prevent nation’s problems from getting worse.
“I’d say that social justice activists have lost pretty much all hope that progressive change will come from the electoral system alone,” Appollon said. “People are just really fed up.
Frustration isn’t stopping young activists from participating however. They are continuing make their voices heard through city council meetings, social justice organizations and occupy movements.
“For those who were involved in the Occupy movement, particularly, they felt very empowered by it and I think we’re going to be hearing more from them this summer and that includes the young people of color who are involved in the Occupy movement,” Appollon said. “They want to be reflected and they want their participation and their voice to be reflected.”